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24 June 2004, 02:46 pm
Going North East
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NORD/LB Baltic Sprint Cup
Stockholm (SWE) - Rostock

Tracing the historic trade routes of the Baltic Sea in July 2005, offshore sailors from all Baltic countries are expected to fight for the NORD/LB Baltic Sprint Cup.
The new challenge has been set by the long-standing sailing club Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) Hamburg, Germany, and will take off from Sweden's sailing capital Sandhamn near Stockholm. Within two weeks and with seven stops in North-East European countries, the regatta will finish in Rostock-Warnemünde in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. All types of offshore yachts are invited to take part - from fast going cruisers to high-tech racers. To make the challenge attractive even for the smaller boats, elapsed time will be corrected according to specific handicap factors. Title sponsor and co-initiator NORD/LB Norddeutsche Landesbank from Hanover, Germany, and organizing NRV are expecting more than 50 entries.

The fleet of the first truly pan-Baltic regatta will stop in Helsinki (Finland), Tallinn (Estonia), Riga (Latvia), Klaipeda (Lithuania), Gdansk (Poland) and Copenhagen (Denmark) before finishing in Warnemünde (Germany)."For stop-over ports, we have chosen attractive yachting destinations in the core markets of our partner", NRV President Gunter PERSIEHL explained the double charm of the regatta course. The longest leg of the 1,165 nautical mile course of the NORD/LB Baltic Sprint Cup will be from Gdansk to Copenhagen at 260 nm.

By offering "a medium distance regatta with consecutive sprint legs" the ambitious NRV sets out to complete its regatta portfolio, adding to the Atlantic crossing of the very successful first DaimlerChrysler North Atlantic Challenge (DCNAC), when 63 yachts competed in 2003, and the imminent Rolex Baltic Week in August this year in Neustadt/Holstein. Established in 1868, the NRV is the co-founder of all major German regatta series like Kiel Week, Travemünde Week and - in cooperation with the Mecklenburg Yacht Club - in 1900 the Warnemünde Week.

"We want to provide for our customers a thrilling, multinational event that will portray our vision of an economically and culturally closely meshed Nordic market within the EU - a market that shares the same history, the same culture and environment and is closely related in a region that is important for NORD/LB", said Sven HERLYN, General Representative of NORD/LB and responsible for the North-Eastern Europe business. The regional bank for the German districts Niedersachsen, Sachen-Anhalt and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is more than the leading universal bank in the North of Germany. NORD/LB has concentrated its activities in the North-Eastern part of Europe with a range of subsidiaries and affiliated banks in the Baltic Sea countries. "The regatta will help transfer the established trade mark NORD/LB and the values of trustworthiness, reliability and partnership which are associated with the mother company into the new markets", Professor Sonning BREDEMEIER, the bank's chief economist and spokesman, explained.

The event will start on 9 July 2005 in Sandhamn, where the Royal Yacht Club of Sweden KSSS will just have held the Gotland Runt race, the largest of its kind in the world. The biggest and oldest Swedish yacht club has already promised its full support to the NRV. On the last day of Kiel Week (June 26), a feeder race is planned by Kiel Yacht Club to bring yachts from the famous annual German sailing event to Sandhamn. "We hope to lure many potential entries from these very well-attended regattas", NRV event manager Henning ROCHOLL explained the plan. There will also be another feeder race from Copenhagen managed by the Royal Danish Yacht Club (KDY) who have also promised their support for the Sprint Cup.

One issues of the regatta route is of special interest: Then the final leg on July 21 from Copenhagen will be starting in "Le Mans style" (a pursuit start), which means slowest yachts will start first with the faster boats to follow according to their handicap. This way, it should be a tight finish on Friday, 22 July 2005 in Rostock-Warnemünde. The boat that wins line-honours will therefore win this last leg. Depending on the number of entries, the fleet will be divided into three classes.

ISAF International Race Officer Alan GREEN (GBR), who had already been involved in the DCNAC 2003, will act as race director for NRV: "We'll use a single-number multiplier for handicap results, like that used in the DaimlerChrysler North Atlantic Challenge. The number will be derived from an ORC Club standing", Green explained. The low point system will be used for the scoring. The winner of each leg is awarded one point, the second one gets two points and so on. At the end of the regatta, the NORD/LB Baltic Sprint Cup - an exclusive piece of art from the porcelain manufacturer Fürstenberg - will go to the team with the least points.
Further information is available on the event website via the link below.
Andreas Kling (As Amended by ISAF)
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